A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Bobnhiroe

At Stone the Crows - Wagga Wagga

Day 29, 30,

sunny 27 °C

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Lockhart to Wagga Wagga for "Stone The Crows Festival"
Day 29
Tuesday April 11
We left Lockhart at 8-40 and drove to Wagga Wagga arriving there just before 10.00 am. It took a while to be directed to our campsite amongst to other 490 caravans and motor homes.
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After the initial setting up we went to the Crows Central to Register, pick up our information pack and also register for the games over the next week.
We talked George Mitchell into joining our team for all three games:- Petanque, Disc Bowls and Ladder Golf.
We went to a caravan spares shop not too far from the campground and I purchased some new chocks for the wheels which brings me to an incident which happened upon leaving Lockhart. We had put plastic chocks under our wheels and I failed to remove them prior to moving the van. Consequently when the van ran over one it was smashed. John says I have to mention it because everything else that has happened on the trip has been his problem.
Back to The Stone The Crows.-
We caught up with other members of our caravan club at Stone The Crows (STC); Pieter and Robin Van Dyk Glenn and Yvonne Watson and Tom and Kath McManus.
Hiroe went to the toilet in the dark and I was a bit concerned that she hadn't reappeared for quite a while = I thought she might be doing a Wendy, however just as I was going to organise a search party she came back.
We all attended tonights show in the Central Marquee (With 990 other folk). It was a great performance by ventriloquist; Darren Carr who kept us entertained for 105 minutes.

Ventriloquist Comedian Darren Carr

At the tender age of eight, Darren Carr started playing with dolls and talking to himself. Much to his parents' relief, these peculiar traits were not the result of " too much chlorine in the gene pool ", but his interest in the art of ventriloquism.

Nowadays, Darren is now recognized as "Australia 's Leading Ventriloquist" performing with his pint-sized look-alike partner, "Darrell", and a cast of hilarious characters, in a comedy filled show which has to be seen to be believed.

Day 30
Wednesday April 12
We slept in a little bit this morning after last nights wonderful show.
One of our gas bottles has run out so this morning we made a quick trip just down the road and had it refillied.
Linda has had a bad night - something she ate didn't agree with her so she stayed in bed most of the day.
I started work on assembling the bird feeder I purchased in the Daddy Day Care Centre. I will finish it when I get home as completed it is quite large.
George took us into Wagga Wagga City to do a little shopping before returning to the vans for afternoon tea.
Tonights show in the Marquee was a concert by Mike Mclennan on guitar and singing. He wasn't quite as entertaining as Darren carr.

Day 31
Thursday April 13
This morning we all went to a concert by Marcus Holden who is a violinist as well as a guitarist and banjo player. He was extremely entertaing as he has many styles including Bluegrass, Irish, Folk, and classical.
We then played in the Social Disc Bowls competition - our team included George, Hiroe and Me. We lost during the first round which must have been a mistake by the scorer, haha.
In the afternoon we filled the caravan water tanks then went to town to refuel the car and do a little grocery shopping.
We attended the evening entertainment in the marquee tonight.
What a wonderful show which began with performances by the Wagga City Rugby Male Choir. They brought the house (marquee) down to standing ovations and many encores such that the programme for the night eventually ran 45 minutes over time but who cared. Have a look at:- http://www.wcrmc.com.au/
Other wonderful acts were performed by Marcus Holden:- http://www.fiddlersfestival.com/marcusholden/
Jackie Kerin:- http://www.jackiekerin.com.au/
Sarah Depasquale:- http://www.stonethecrows.com.au/2017/crow-chronicle-5.17.html
Greg North :- http://www.gregorynorth.com.au/Listen.html
Greg was absolutely amazing and had us all in stitches.
Rob Nichols and Jim Haynes and others. What a night.

Day 32
Friday April 14
Today was Ladder Golf day and George, Hiroe and I were one of 70 teams in the knockout tournament.
We went right through to the Grand Final and would you believe - we won. Some of the games we only just one when Hiroe pulled us through.
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We had some wonderful support from other members of our club during the semi finals and grand final. Thanks guys.
Here is a short video which includes Glen and pommy Bob playing Ladder Golf

In the afternoon we went to a presentation by Rod Hannifey on sharing the rod with trucks. We have seen and heard him before and it's excellent.
Took a photo of Hiroe and George with Rods truck
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In the evening entertainment this night we were presented with our trophys.

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Day 33
Saturday April 15
This morning George, Pommy Bob & Linda and Hiroe and I caught the almost free bus from Stone The Crows into central Wagga Wagga. We did a little shopping and had lunch in a Mall then returned to the vans. I the evening there was a performance by a female singer (Lisa Crouch) who some liked and others not so. And that's about it for the day apart from Glen and Yvonne going to Narander to see one of Yvonne's friends and the door handle breaking on our caravan which required some temporary re-modelling.

Day 34
Sunday April 16
This morning after morning tea Glen & Yvonne with Tom and Cath in their car and us in ours, drove to Junee. This is an old Railway Town and even though the population is quite small, the Railway Station is fairly substantial.
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There are a few really big buildings in town not least of which is a Hotel built in 1897.
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We all went to the chocolate and licorice factory where Glen found some old cars which he just had to inspect.
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We then took a back road to return to Wagga Wagga via the village of Wantabadgery and Oula. At Wantabadgery there is a horse and rider statue of a Policeman (Edward Mostyn Webb-Bowen) who was shot by bushrangers in 1879.2017_April..gery__Copy_.jpg92D8C7A4F1E8CE152B7D784D5451A39B.jpg
We finally arrived back in Wagga Wagga for a late lunch then back to the van.
This evenings entertainment was provided by members of the Stone The Crows participants in the form of a Talent Quest. The show started with a performance by the Choir which had just 5 hours together to practice their 3 songs and one of the members of the Choir was a member of our club; Chris Meridith.
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Pommy Bob entered the competition in the Ukulele and Instrumental section and was at the end of the show awarded 1st prize. Well Done Mate.
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We were going to celebrate with George Bob and Linda however Pommy and Bob had other ideas and went into their van so George and us have a few ports together before going to be after another good day.
John and Wendy Peter and Olwyn together with Ron and Dot are leaving us today to head home.
Day 35
Monday April 17
We all had a go at Stoning The Crows. Chris was the best of our lot but even so she was eliminated eventually.
We have all packed up all the outside gear ready for an early start tomorrow morning.
The entertainment tonight was provide4d by Jamie Way as P-Elvis and we all enjoyed it very much
George, Glen & Yvonne, Doug & Chris, Tome & Kath are all heading to the Snowy area with Pieter & Robin for about 10 days.

Day 36
Tuesday April 18
This morning with Pommy Bob we left for home at 7.15. An early start for us.
We had morning tea at The Dog on The Tucker Box. While we were there an interesting old Ford car with a home made little caravan attached.
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We then drove on to Bungendore for lunch.
Continuing on we arrived just outside of Nerriga and the big climb soon after the town. Pommy Bobs cars transmission overheated and he lost all power. A truck and other vehicles had to go past us on the wrong side of the road. It was while we were waiting for things to cool down that I noticed that a rather large groove had been carved in one of the tyres on our caravan, On inspection we found that one of the bolts holding the spring to the hanger had come loose and was sticking out about 10cm. We had to take the wheel off, then using 3 jacks try to line up holes with the bolt. We managed to get the bolt tightened about half way and hope that it held till be got home.
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Another exciting end to a trip.
We arrived home at about 4.00 pm and unpacked the van.
A good 5 weeks away - The garden has overgrown but wont take too long to get it back in order.
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Posted by Bobnhiroe 00:02 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Days 26, 27, & 28

Bendigo to Tocumwal, Lockhart

sunny 28 °C

Day 26
Saturday April 8
Saw a sign on the back of Johns vehicle: Don't know if it means anything or maybe he is trying to tell us something.
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We left Bendigo at 8.30 and drove out of town heading north to Echuca where we stopped (had some back-up practice) then walked around town looking at some of then paddle boats on the Murray River.
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We walked along the port area and I took a photo of Hiroe here.
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Back onto the main street and we all had coffee and scones/muffins where John and Wendy found that the shop owner knew a good friend of theirs.
While we were there Olwyn let slip that she had DROPPED their NAVMAN GPS Navigator this morning and that the screen was cracked.
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Back on the road and we took a short cut towards Tocumwal which included some quite rough roads and one stretch in particular which was only single lane bitumen.
We finally arrived at Tocumwal and found the Town Beach camping area quite full.
Pommy Bob and Linda caught up with us just as we arrived at the camp.
During then happy hour discussions it transpired that Linda had declared the inside of the van was her domain and Bob could look after the outside - she was sick of Bob saying things like "I usually put that thing this way" etc etc etc.
Dot purchased some mildly hot sausage for "Happy Hour" tonight. The girl in the shop said that it was definitely "MILD". Well it had us all racing to find some ice (or more wine) to cool down our mouths.
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This camp is very popular and is packed tight. It is school holidays and grandparents must be doing their duty and minding ankle biters while their parents go to work.
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We were going to stay here for 2 nights but have now decided to continue on tomorrow to Lockhart where we will stay for 2 nights.

Day 27
Sunday April 9
Pommy Bob was elected as trip leader for today and even though he said last night that we would be leaving at 9.30, we were all on the road by 8.15. The drive today was quite uneventful apart from the rain and we had morning tea at the small village of Urana. The wind and rain is VERY cold.
Along the way we came across a huge herd of cattle walking and feeding in the "Long Paddock" being driven by a single man in a 4X4. We estimate that there must have been 350-400 of them. At times we had to actually stop as they were all over the road.
We arrived at Lockhart and set up in the nice small caravan park right in town.
Hiroe has run out of her diabetic medication and it's Sunday. No chemist open today here in Lockhart so we went to the small local hospital here but they were not able to help. The chemist will open tomorrow so we will just have to keep monitoring her blood sugar level till then.
We blew the power to 3 vans when our toaster was switched on. The caravan park caretaker was called and she reset it. Have tried the toaster and everything is OK so we don't know what caused the failure.

Day 28
Monday April 10
As soon as we had finished breakfast and cleaned up we walked into town to the chemist shop. Unfortunately he didn't have the required medication as he said that the prescription was for an unusually low dosage but that he did have the separate indgredients to make up but Hiroe would have to take 2 pills instead of one and that she would need a new prescription so he wrote a note for the local doctor and we made an appointment for later today to see him.
We walked around town and found many weird sculptures. The story is that somewhere in the past when Lockhart was in the grip of a drought a local farmer had taken to making metal sculptures from barbed wire and rusty pieces of metal which he sold and was able to keep his farm afloat. It has since developed into and annual festival with prize money given to art works.
Below are some of the pieces around town.
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Posted by Bobnhiroe 23:26 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Natimuk to Bendigo

Days 22, 23, 24, and 25

sunny 25 °C

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Day 22
Tuesday April 4
Last night it was Bobs turn to cook dinner so he made a smoked salmon and pasta dish which turned out quite nice.
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Just on dusk we noticed some great reflections on the water just in front of our caravan door.
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After a much warmer night that the previous 2, we departed the rest area just 7 km west of Natimuk and drove through town. We noticed an unusual sculpture in town so stopped for a photo.
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We continued on to Horsham where only a brief stop was made.

We drove on to Murtoa where we had morning tea and saw a panel showing the Stick Shed. We decided we would visit it but unfortunately access was denied. I have down loaded some info:-

Colloquially known as the Stick Shed, the Marmalake Grain Store Wheat Storage Shed is the largest building in Murtoa, out on the Wimmera plains between Horsham and St Arnaud.

The Stick Shed is a type of grain storage facility built in Victoria during the early 1940s. The Marmalake / Murtoa Grain Store No.1 was built in 1941-42 during a wheat glut, to store wheat that could not be exported during World War II. It is the earliest & last remaining example of this particular grand Australian rural vernacular tradition.
The Murtoa Stick Shed spans the length of five Olympic swimming pools. With its vast, gabled interior and long rows of poles the interior space has been likened to the nave of a cathedral.
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On again to St. Arnaud where we all refuelled and had an hour to walk around town and have lunch.
There is a statue of Marshal St. Arnaud
It is named after French marshal Jacques Leroy de Saint Arnaud, commander-in-chief of the army of the East who joined with the British and Turkish to fight the Russians during the Crimean War. He contacted a cold/flu on the way back to France and died 3 days later.
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Also in the town is a statue of William John Wills who surveyed the town and later joined the in-fated expedition with Burke.
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After a late lunch we continued on to somewhere about Marong on the Wimmera Highway where we have pulled off the road into a good patch of ground for the night. We arrived here following what must be the most bumpy road in Australia at about 2.00pm and Olwyn wanted to know if it was "Happy Hour" yet?

Day 23
Wednesday April 5
Departed last nights stop rather late as we can't get into our caravan park for tonight until 10.00 am
The road into Bendigo didn't improve - it was still exceedingly bumpy.
The sites in the van park were not very good but we can't complain.
After setting up Hiroe and I went to have a look at The Great Stupa which will be the largest built in the western world when finished. We looked at it 3 years ago and not too much seems to have changed. They are hoping it will be finished in 7 years time. Work was being carried out inside while we were there.
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We drove into the City of Bendigo and did a bit of food shopping before returning to the van for Happy Hour.
We have all decided that we will stay an extra night here so Saturday will be our departure day.

Day 24
Thursday April 6
We all went to the Bendigo talking tram stop and purchased tickets for the hop on hop off trip. First stop was at the Joss House which we didn't get off the tram to look at. On into the City where we alighted at Charing Cross stop and went for a walk looking for a coffee shop. After about 30 minutes we found one open and were told to sit and someone would come and take our orders. Well - we could have walked back to the vans by the time "someone" came and then it took for ever for the coffees to appear. Hiroe complained that it didn't even taste like coffee. We wont be coming back here again.
Took a stroll along the street and came upon the statue of the man who started the bath house in Bendigo (I forget his name).
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Over the road to look at the Alexandra Fountain where everyone was wondering what type of fish might be in here, so took a photo of the fisher folk.
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Wendy is still looking for THINGS to fill the caravan so she visited an Aussie Disposals shop to look at some camping gear. (any camping gear will do).
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We walked up the main street as far as the gardens near the Visitor centre then back to the tram stop where we boarded again to go to the end of the line at the Central Deborah Gold Mine stop. We stayed on the tram for the return journey to the Depot as Ron was starving and it was already after 1.00 pm.
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After lunch we went to the Bendigo Botanic Gardens for a look around. Apart from the entry it wasn't too impressive.
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Did a little shopping then back to the vans for Happy Hour.

Day 25
Friday April 7
Rod & Dot John & Wendy together with Peter & Olwyn went to have a look at the Great Stupa this morning.
This is an artists impression of what it will eventually look like.
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Bob & Hiroe went into the City to purchase some shoes for Bob then a hair cut for Hiroe a visit to the Bendigo Pottery and some more food shopping before returning to the van for a late (2.00pm) lunch.
And that's about it for the day.

Posted by Bobnhiroe 22:02 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Adelaide to Tailem Bend, Kingston, Naracorte Edenhope and Na

Days 19, 20, 21,

sunny 24 °C

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Day 19
Saturday April 1
We left Adelaide just on 8.30 am and found our way out to The South East Freeway with the aid of our GPS navigator. It wasn't too long and we were in Hahndorf where we stopped for a look around (once we had found somewhere to park 4 vans).
As we were strolling along we came upon a well carved seat outside a pub which John just had to try.
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There are lots of quite old buildings in town and the whole area is very touristy. Took a photo of John with 3 girls in front of an old hotel.
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We noticed a sign which said tea/coffee $6 and while we were talking about going over the road to it, the owner of another coffee shop we were standing in front of offered to give us tea/coffee scones with jam and German cream as well as a fire heated area to sit in, so we took up his offer. The service etc here was great.
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We drove from here to Murray Bridge where we had a stroll around a small park (a bit hilly) which had a lot of roses in it. It overlooked the Murray Bridge rail crossing.
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Back in the cars and on to Tailem Bend where we bought pies etc for lunch then a short trip to tonights rest are just 7 kms down the Princes Highway towards Kingston SE.

Day 20
Sunday April 2
Really not very much to report today. John hadn't changed his clocks and watches to reflect the end of daylight saving last night so he got up and ready to leave an hour earlier than everyone else. We drove south alongside The Coorong Wetlands through Policemans Point and salt Creek to Kingston SE.
Wendy and John went for a long walk to try to find the track that Wendy took last time we were here when she got lost in the dark.
Hiroe and I went for a walk out to the end of the old jetty here then along the foreshore to the old lighthouse which had been at the end of the original jetty.
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Day 21
Monday April 3
We left Kingston just after 8.00 and shortly after took a photo of the towns Big Lobster with Hiroe standing under it.
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Onwards then to Naracorte then crossed the State border into Victoria just before the small village of Aspley. We had morning tea here and I took a photo of the unusual hotel here; The Border Inn.
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We continued on through Edenhope to a free campsite just 9 km south west of the small town of Natimuk.

Posted by Bobnhiroe 20:22 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Victor Harbour to Adelaide

Days 15, 16, 17, & 18

semi-overcast

Day 15
Tuesday March 28
Today we went in Peter and Olwyn's car to have a look around the sights near Victor Harbour.

First stop was at Port Elliott. The rocks in the sea make for a good photo.
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We then called in to a look at some of the mosaics overlooking the bay.
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Everyone went for a walk around the township and visited the local supermarket before returning to the vans for a late lunch.
After we were all fed we drove back into town and went for a ride on the horse drawn tram across the water to Granite Island.
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While we were there we noticed a playful seal frolicking near the wharf.
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It was back to the vans in time for "Happy Hour".

Day 16
Wednesday March 29
I forgot to mention that when we were in Kingston. Wendy took their dog for a walk at night (with a torch) but the dog wandered around all over the place sniffing etc and when Wendy decided to head back to their van she couldn't see any of them. She started to walk and ran into a concrete barrier and she couldn't even find the road. By this time John was quite concerned and walked to the town centre (twice) and then hours after Wendy started this trip she found her way back to the van.

This morning we left Victor Harbour and drove towards Adelaide stopping at Mt Compass on the way for morning tea. It was a little difficult keeping everyone together along the way especially when traffic lights turned red but eventually we arrived safely at Levi Park Caravan Park where we had booked for 3 nights. We all spent the afternoon relaxing after doing some grocery shopping.

Day 17
Thursday March 30
We all caught the free bus into Adelaide city this morning. The bus stopped near the city's ANZAC Memorial.
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Then a walk to Rundle Mall where we took photos with some of the pig sculptures.
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Then boarded the free city tour bus of North Adelaide and Adelaide City. It must have take about 45 minutes or so. The bus went past the Market area so we got off the bus had morning tea/coffee with Pancakes, Maple syrup and ice cream (some had raisin bread and Peter and Olwyn had iced vanilla slices. We made arrangements to meet up later at the Rundle Mall Food Court for late lunch.
We walked back to Rundle Mall and walked the length of it on both sides. Took a photo of Hiroe and a fountain there.
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We all met up for lunch (late) then walked back to the bus terminus and came back to the caravans in time for a shower and Happy Hour.

Day 18
Friday March 31
This morning we all went for a drive in tow cars. First stop was at Port Adelaide - It is very quiet and most shops were shut.
We had a look at the splendid Clipper Ship the City of Adelaide which is sitting on a barge at Dock 1. It was built in England in 1864 and undertook 23 return voyages between London and England bringing out early settlers. It is currently under restoration.
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Next stop was at the old lighthouse where Hiroe was the only one game enough to climb to the top.
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We looked for a coffee shop for morning tea but unfortunately they were all closed so we drove south to Glenelg where we found many open and had a late smoko.
We walked out to the beach where not too much was happening - it's too cold for swimming.
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Tomorrow we start to head east again towards Wagga Wagga for the Stone The Crows Festival.

Posted by Bobnhiroe 20:32 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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